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Intel on Montour Trail?

Old 06-29-23, 06:03 AM
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Intel on Montour Trail?

Anyone with local knowledge of the Montour Trail?

https://montourtrail.org/

Looking to start near Canonsburg or the airport for an out and back.
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Old 06-29-23, 09:25 AM
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Not local, but we rode it from Glassport to McDonald to connect to the Panhandle trail last year. Nice rail trail, AFAIR the steepest grade was 1-2%.
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Old 06-29-23, 10:55 AM
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A member who used to post on BF a lot and who is/was local had good things to say about it.
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Old 06-30-23, 05:12 AM
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just did a section of the Montour trail recently - mile marker 17 to 29 (approx)

basically flat or mild grade - primarily crushed limestone (the section we did was crushed limestone / some dirt ; I believe some sections are paved but we did not ride those sections)

it’s been relatively dry this year so bike will especially be covered with trail dust

the 12 mile section of the Montour trail we did included the McDonald trestle, Tandem Connection bike shop, bridge over Chartiers Creek, and two small tunnels (National tunnel and Greer tunnel) ; the tunnels are short / lit - bike lights not required

we started on the Panhandle trail that runs perpendicular (and under) the Montour trail - connected to the Montour trail via the Montour trail connector at the 8.5 mile (approx) point of the Panhandle trail from Walker’s Mill (the connector trail is approx 1 mile in length with a road crossing and mild grade to get you to the elevation of the Montour trail)

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Old 06-30-23, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by t2p

itís been relatively dry this year so bike will especially be covered with trail dust
That stuff can really dirty your bike. One of my trips on the GAP as part of a cross-state tour was done during an extended dry spell. My bike was covered in trail dust. The black frame made it really stand out.
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Old 06-30-23, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
That stuff can really dirty your bike. One of my trips on the GAP as part of a cross-state tour was done during an extended dry spell. My bike was covered in trail dust. The black frame made it really stand out.
this has been (yet another) learning experience for me

Iíve seen bikes with a blanket of dust - but until just recently had not personally experienced it

rode off road for years but donít recall bike covered like they are after a long ride on dry crushed limestone trails

and with added pollen - had grey and yellow / green snot rockets lol

i actually donít mind rides on the limestone paths and actually like them - just donít like dealing with the mess after the ride

but did find something that speeds up the bike cleaning - swiffer dust rag ... those things are great for removing trail dust from bike
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Old 07-03-23, 08:35 AM
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nomad ( nomadmax ) - if you are considering the trek east to PA for rides - the Montour trail is very good (certain sections more than others) and intersects with the Panhandle trail - but also consider the trails near Franklin / Oil City area

The Allegheny River trail, Samuel Justice trail, Sandy Creek trail, and Oil Creek State Park trails are great ... the trails are relatively close and most connect relatively easily or quick drive
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Old 07-29-23, 07:47 AM
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map shows

Oil Creek trail
Justus trail
Allegheny River trail
Sandy Creek trail

Moraine State Park trail and Oliver trail (Goddard State Park / Lake Wilhelm) and Ernst trail are also relatively close

also lot of good road riding in the area including Plain Grove area (just below Grove City) where the recent 2023 National Senior Games bicycle races were held

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Old 08-07-23, 04:30 AM
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We stayed in Franklin and biked down to the Sandy Creek trail, walked the bike up the stairs to get on that trail - one short tunnel, nice ride.

The next day we drove down and biked the Emlenton end, one or two more tunnels, very scenic along the river but one stretch on a private road that I remember had lots of signs warning cyclists about what not to do!
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Old 08-07-23, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by jpescatore
We stayed in Franklin and biked down to the Sandy Creek trail, walked the bike up the stairs to get on that trail - one short tunnel, nice ride.

The next day we drove down and biked the Emlenton end, one or two more tunnels, very scenic along the river but one stretch on a private road that I remember had lots of signs warning cyclists about what not to do!
My earlier post about this seems to have not gone through.

Did the ART again last September. Camped in a lean-to along the trail in Franklin. Noisy owl on a limb above the shelter,

Stopped at the Sandy Creek Trail bridge crossing. Walked up sans loaded bike. Very pretty.

I work for the railroad that abandoned that line, but it was way before my time. I wonder how the current land owners acquired the stretch of right of way that you have to detour around. It’s possible the railroad had only an easement there and it extinguished upon abandonment, resulting in a reversion to the then owner(s). Or maybe they bought the strip before the trail was created. I could possibly find out, but it would take a lot of research.

Edit: Abandonment authority was granted in September of 1983. It was acquired by a generating company in 1984 and later donated for a trail.

View from the Sandy Creek Bridge and the northern tunnel of the ART.




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Old 08-07-23, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz

I wonder how the current land owners acquired the stretch of right of way that you have to detour around. It’s possible the railroad had only an easement there and it extinguished upon abandonment, resulting in a reversion to the then owner(s). Or maybe they bought the strip before the trail was created. I could possibly find out, but it would take a lot of research.
good question - I’m also curious

earlier this summer we did two rides on the ART ... rode the ART from Emlenton through the two tunnels up to the gravel connector road - and then more recently from Franklin down to the gravel road / connector trail

the odd thing is it appears the paved trail continues through the private property ... some of the owner’s stuff appears to be sitting on the paved trail

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Old 08-08-23, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by t2p
good question - I’m also curious

earlier this summer we did two rides on the ART ... rode the ART from Emlenton through the two tunnels up to the gravel connector road - and then more recently from Franklin down to the gravel road / connector trail

the odd thing is it appears the paved trail continues through the private property ... some of the owner’s stuff appears to be sitting on the paved trail
I believe this is the area of the detour.:

Google Maps

You are forced onto N. Kerr Rd. for a while.

I was able to find the deed for the line all the way from Red Bank through Emlenton up to Oil City. There are 48 map exhibits covering nearly 54 miles. I will try to match up the relevant deed map(s) with the Google map of the area above. Unfortunately, the maps were scanned as PDFs. As a result, the fine print is very difficult to read. Each map usually contains what we call a deed schedule, which lists the deeds into the railroad. Those deeds would reveal the types of interests (e.g., fee, easement, etc.) the railroad was granted. The deed schedules on the maps I have glanced at are impossible to decipher. I'll see if we still have the original maps used to create the deed exhibits, but I highly doubt it.

One interesting thing that I was able to tell is that at the time the railroad conveyed the ART right-of-way, the line that is now the Sandy Creek Trail was still active. As such, the grantee of the ART right-of-way got only a surface easement where the Sandy Creek Trail crosses the ART right-of-way via the bridge. The right-of-way for the Sandy Creek Trail was not abandoned until 1985.

Ok. Time to do some real work.
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Old 08-11-23, 05:46 AM
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darn - was hoping to spot the Unimog using the google maps link / overhead view

can’t recall where it’s located - I believe it is somewhere near the Rockland tunnel

gotta get a picture of that thing next time we ride past it

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Old 09-11-23, 08:58 AM
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Did it last week, as the website says the Greer tunnel is closed at lest till November with no easy bypass. The route at the map below shows the closed area.


The parking lot which Buckeye St. and Linwood Ave lead to is inside the barricaded area. Also, the sign at Linwood Ave says it is not a public access to the Montour trail. The next parking lot is OK.
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Old 10-22-23, 07:58 PM
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great time of the year to ride the Montour trail - especially the area near / around the McDonald trestle
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